Drug Court message: Change paradigm

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Drug Court message: Change paradigm

Working Strong Together will be in action this week at Melbourne and Dandenong Drug Courts, the Assessment and Referral Court and Koori Court after a highly successful Drug Court education program last week at the College.

A masterclass over two-days with international expert Judge Peggy Hora, and a trauma focussed final day with the theme of Working Stronger Together, presented a landmark program for court teams and Court Integrated Services Program staff.

We welcomed around 50 people each day to hear Judge Hora’s advice, which began with the approach of changing the paradigm from ‘What’s wrong with you’ to ‘What has happened to you?’

Judge Hora brought the point home with impact, discussing common courtroom scenarios, how they can negatively affect the trauma survivor, and the trauma-informed approach.

The final’s day’s session on Friday - entitled Working Stronger Together - covered how to prevent and treat vicarious trauma and the teams shared experiences about how trauma might manifest in the Drug Court. Clinical psychologist Rob Gordon presented on recognising the effects of vicarious trauma and developing strategies.

The session emphasised that the best supports for Drug Court participants were for team members to take care of themselves and be ready to support each other in the challenging environment.

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